Wednesday, 22 November 2017

PGNiG signed a 5-year contract for LNG with Centrica

PGNiG signed a 5-year contract for LNG with Centrica

The Polish Oil and Gas Company Group has signed a five-year contract for LNG supply sourced from Sabine Pass LNG Terminal, USA, with Centrica LNG Company Limited.
The contract, signed with Centrica, is on a DES delivery basis and will begin in 2018. Up to 9 cargoes will be delivered during the terms of the contract to the President Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal in Świnoujście, where PGNiG recently booked additional regasification capacity. The primary source of LNG delivered under this contract shall be the North American natural gas liquefaction terminal located at Sabine Pass, Louisiana.

This is the first medium-term LNG agreement signed by PGNiG Supply & Trading’s branch office located in London, which is dedicated to global LNG trading.

The agreement follows through on PGNiG’s strategy of securing reliable and diversified gas supplies for Poland and its growing trading capability in the European market. It is also the first mid-term contract for LNG from the USA in Central and Eastern Europe. In October this year, PGNiG also took part in a binding Open Season procedure for capacity bookings from the planned 10 bcm/y pipeline corridor (Baltic Pipe), which will connect the Norwegian Continental Shelf with Poland in 2022.

“Preceded by the long-term contract for LNG deliveries from Qatar and several spot deliveries in 2017, this agreement shows that we are stepping into a new level of global LNG market activity. This five-year agreement for American LNG deliveries is based on gas market conditions. We look forward to working with Centrica as a partner to continue to provide diversified supply into Poland”, said Piotr Woźniak, CEO and President of the Management Board of PGNiG.

Mr Woźniak added: “This agreement is the first of its kind in PGNiG’s planned portfolio of medium-term LNG agreements. Most of these LNG supply agreements will be dedicated to the gas markets of Poland and other Central European countries in order to increase the energy security of this region, which has historically been dominated by Russian gas.”

“We are extremely pleased to have concluded this mid-term contract with PGNiG as part of Centrica’s strategy to build our global LNG portfolio”, commented Jonathan Westby, Centrica Managing Director of Energy Marketing & Trading.

“Our reliability, experience and trading capabilities mean we are well placed to deliver LNG into an ever-growing number of markets around the world.  We really look forward to working with the team at PGNiG over the coming years”

NNPC completes 539km of gas pipeline projects

NNPC completes 539km of gas pipeline projects

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has so far completed, commissioned and delivered 500km of gas pipelines between 2010 to date as part of an aggressive expansion of gas pipeline infrastructure across the country.   

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 2017 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. 
In the paper entitled, “Revival and Development of Local Manufacturing Industries: Chemical and Petrochemical Industries”, Dr Baru, who is a Fellow of the NSE, said the accelerated expansion of the gas pipeline system was sequel to the directive of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who mandated the oil companies operating in-country to support the power generation effort.

He said the directive became imperative after the government realised that adequate power supply was key to reviving the moribund industries.

The GMD listed the gas pipelines so far delivered by the Corporation to include; the 196km Oben Gas Plant to Geregu Power Plant pipeline, 110km Escravos-Warri-Oben gas pipeline, 128km Ukanafun-Calabar pipeline, 50km Emuren-Itoki pipeline, 31km Itoki- Olorunshogo pipeline and 24km Imo River-Alaoji gas pipeline. 

He noted that all available thermal power plants in the Country are today connected with permanent gas supply pipelines.  

Dr. Baru added that with NNPC driving the realisation of Federal Government’s aspiration to expand the gas pipeline network to all parts of the Country, about 2,700MW of Thermal electricity was expected to be added to the National Grid in the near future, to exponentially generate more power for new industrial revolution with a view to achieving sustainable economic growth. 

He noted that the earlier government’s initiative in this regard populated the seeds for the growth of Nigeria’s gas-fired power plants, which gradually scaled up thermal power contribution to more than 70% of total power generated in the Country today. 

Providing details of the planned expansion of the gas infrastructure, the NNPC GMD said the lines would be bolstered with the ongoing construction of the 127km East-West OB3 gas pipeline joining Oben to Obiafu-Obrikom. 

He explained that the strategic infrastructure was scheduled for completion by the 4th quarter of 2018, while the 363km looping expansion of Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System was expected for delivery by Q1 2018.  

He also explained that Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) tender evaluation process for Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (popularly known as AKK683km) gas pipeline contract and the EPC tender process for the Qua Iboe Terminal to Obiafu/Obrikom (QIT-Ob/Ob gas pipeline) gas pipeline were on-going.  

Upon completion, the remaining projects are expected to add over 1000 kilometres to the nation’s gas pipeline network. 

On funding of Oil and Gas development projects, Dr Baru said the Corporation was adopting the Public Private Partnership (PPP) models in building and expanding the gas infrastructures. 

He said the development of the Ajaokuta–Abuja-Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Gas pipelines which were the first in line under the arrangement would be built through contractor financing where the selected Contractors would be providing financing to build the line and recover their cost through transportation tariff. 

“This model will be extended to other major backbone pipelines in the Nigerian Gas Master Plan,’’ he said. 

He concluded that once these projects were completed, a nationwide gas infrastructure backbone would be in place to fully enable the establishment of an integrated gas pipeline infrastructure grid across the entire Country. 

New Hempaline Defend range now available in North America

New Hempaline Defend range now available in North America

Global coatings manufacturer Hempel has launched the Hempaline Defend epoxy and vinyl ester range of protective coatings to its North American customers. This launch marks a strategic milestone in Hempel's energy strategy.

Designed for the oil & gas and power industries, Hempaline Defend epoxy and vinyl ester linings are specifically tailored to protect equipment used in hostile and challenging conditions. This includes storage tank bottoms, process vessels, secondary containment areas, produced water tanks, API 12 F, power plant flue gas desulphurisation ducting and absorbers. These new high-quality protective linings can offer asset owners increased profits by maximising production uptime through longer service life and reduced maintenance.

The oil & gas and power industries suffer from extreme pH swings, high abrasion and elevated temperatures and Hempel's new lining range delivers high-performance corrosion resistance to protect valuable equipment in aggressive environments.

Michael McGlamry, Protective Product Manager, North America comments: "We are excited to introduce our new trusted lining solutions in North America. Hempaline high-performance linings offer a 24 or 72-hour return to service time while still maintaining the same level of corrosion and cargo contamination protection for our customer's assets."

Hempaline Defend vinyl ester linings are suitable for a range of applications. The coatings can be used as tank linings and protect concrete surfaces from aggressive cargos. These linings also include glass, mineral-flake filled coatings and fibreglass reinforced linings for specific applications.

The Hempaline Defend epoxy range is also designed to protect steel and concrete surfaces from aggressive chemicals, elevated temperatures and abrasive service conditions. The range offers a choice of available hardeners allowing an asset to be returned to service in as little as 24 hours as customers can select a single-coat system – without any reduction in performance.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Chrysaor completes acquisition of Shell package and becomes the leading UK North Sea independent E&P Company

Chrysaor completes acquisition of Shell package and becomes the leading UK North Sea independent E&P Company

Chrysaor, the UK oil & gas independent, has announced the completion of the acquisition of a package of assets in the UK North Sea from Shell for a price of $3.0 billion, subject to customary adjustments. 

Future payments may be made between the two companies, contingent upon exploration results and commodity prices. Harbour Energy, an energy investment vehicle managed by EIG Global Energy Partners, is Chrysaor’s principal financial backer.

The package consists of interests in Beryl, Bressay, Buzzard, Elgin-Franklin, Erskine, Everest, the Greater Armada cluster, J Block, Lomond and Schiehallion. Chrysaor is now operator of the Armada, Lomond and Everest hubs. 

The transaction sees Chrysaor become the leading independent E&P company in the UK. Production from the acquired assets is forecast to average just under 120,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day for 2017, with the current unit operating costs running at less than $15 a barrel.

The company now has some 400 employees, with approximately 200 based in its operations centre at The Capitol Building in Aberdeen, 150 working offshore and 50 at its corporate headquarters in London.

Phil Kirk, Chief Executive of Chrysaor, said: “With the acquisition of this package of high quality, low-cost production assets, Chrysaor becomes the leading independent in the UK North Sea. We are grateful to Shell for collaborating with our team to ensure a smooth and safe transition. I am excited at the prospect of our highly professional existing and new staff working together with our new licence and supply chain partners to develop and grow the company together.

“Safe and efficient operation of the assets is our primary objective as we pursue our development plans. We are already working hard to mature drilling opportunities in the Chrysaor-operated assets, secure further third-party business for the hub assets, and actively support viable development initiatives proposed by our partner-operated assets.”
Linda Z. Cook, Chairman of Chrysaor, said: “With improving operating costs, competitive fiscal terms and a world class skills base, the North Sea is undergoing a period of rejuvenation. Through its acquisition of the Shell portfolio, Chrysaor is now firmly placed to take advantage of this change. Harbour Energy is pleased to provide funding for this acquisition and to continue our active support of Chrysaor in pursuit of its goal to deliver material growth and value.”

Ancala Midstream completes acquisition of interest in Scottish Area Gas Evacuation system

Ancala Midstream completes acquisition of interest in Scottish Area Gas Evacuation system

Ancala Midstream Acquisitions Limited has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Apache’s interests in the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation system and the Beryl Gas Pipeline for an undisclosed sum. Ancala Midstream has been appointed as operator of both systems.

Ancala Midstream has been established by Ancala Partners, the independent mid-market infrastructure investment manager, as a platform to make and manage investments in North Sea midstream oil and gas infrastructure. Ancala appointed Jim Halliday as Chief Executive Officer of Ancala Midstream in November 2016.

Ancala Midstream has acquired 100% of SAGE North Sea Limited (“SNSL”) which holds Apache’s 30.28% share of SAGE and 60.58% share of the Beryl Pipeline.  SNSL will operate as a 100%-owned subsidiary of Ancala Midstream.

The SAGE System comprises a 323-kilometre, 30-inch bore pipeline and a gas processing terminal located at St Fergus, 65 kilometres north of Aberdeen. Gas is transported through the SAGE pipeline and processed in the SAGE Terminal from nine gas fields, including the Beryl Field and its satellites.

Jim Halliday, Chief Executive, Ancala Midstream, commented: “Ancala Midstream is delighted to have closed this important investment in two major pieces of North Sea infrastructure. It is critical for the commercial future of the North Sea that complex transactions of this type can be successfully concluded. The injection of significant new capital is also essential for the future of the basin. For Ancala Midstream this investment provides a platform for further growth in the sector.”

Spence Clunie, Managing Partner, Ancala Partners, commented: “This investment represents an important step in the growth of our midstream infrastructure platform. We have put in place an experienced management team at Ancala Midstream to lead this strategy.”

Ancala has appointed Wood as its operating partner. Wood will undertake operations on behalf of Ancala Midstream at the SAGE Terminal and on the SAGE and Beryl Pipelines. Apache’s 60 employees at the SAGE Terminal have transferred to Wood. 

Robin Watson, Chief Executive, Wood, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Ancala Midstream on these major pieces of infrastructure. This contract strengthens our operating partner portfolio in the UKCS and our commitment is to leverage our broad capabilities, differentiated expertise and innovative solutions to deliver safely and efficiently.”
Tom Wheeler, Director of Regulation, Oil and Gas Authority, expressed strong support for the investment: “This transaction clearly demonstrates that ‘right assets, right hands’ is working. We welcome Ancala Midstream’s commitment and the message it sends to the wider investment community.” 

Mr Halliday concluded: “The Oil and Gas Authority has supported this investment throughout. We look forward to working with all our partners and stakeholders as we continue to grow Ancala Midstream’s presence.”

Maersk Drilling enters into alliance agreement with Aker BP

Maersk Drilling enters into alliance agreement with Aker BP

Maersk Drilling has entered into a jack-up alliance agreement with Aker BP ASA (Aker BP). The alliance is founded on a unique tripartite collaboration model that also includes service provider Halliburton. The alliance aims at lowering the cost per barrel for Aker BP and increasing profitability for the alliance partners.

The framework agreement is 5 years firm with the option to extend for a further 5 years and will be based on an integrated well delivery model with aligned incentives. The new alliance approach focuses on increasing collaboration efficiency and enabling standardisation and simplification of processes, ultimately shortening the lead time from discovery to first oil.

“Maersk Drilling is fully committed to reducing well costs for our customers and we see great potential in a deeper collaboration across the industry to eliminate inefficiencies and create joint value. The partnership with Aker BP is a prime example of this”, says Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.

In the alliance, Maersk Drilling will utilise its high-performance jack-ups as a platform to implement digital solutions which will improve drilling efficiency and lower the total well cost. Maersk Drilling’s modern fleet counts 24 drilling rigs including drill-ships and deep-water semi-submersibles.

 “With this alliance, we are leveraging our collective experience and capabilities to reduce waste across the value chain. We look forward to working closely together with both Halliburton and Aker BP on this exciting journey,” says Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.

The process of improving performance through deeper collaboration will commence immediately.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Trafigura announces plans to develop a second LNG import terminal project at Port Qasim, Pakistan

Trafigura announces plans to develop a second LNG import terminal project at Port Qasim, Pakistan

Trafigura Group Pte Ltd, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading and logistics companies, attended the inauguration recently, of Pakistan GasPort Ltd’s new LNG floating storage and regasification import terminal at Port Qasim, Pakistan.

This landmark project, in which Trafigura is delighted to be a minority investor, is a vital step in meeting Pakistan’s growing demand for imported LNG, a cost-effective and relatively clean fuel for power generation and an essential complement to diminishing supplies of domestically-produced gas.

The new terminal will more than double Pakistan’s current LNG regasification capacity, and to be able to supply 90 million cubic feet of gas to private buyers in Pakistan each day.

 However, even after the new terminal reaches full capacity a significant supply shortfall of the order of 19 million tonnes of LNG per annum is expected. So today Trafigura also announced plans to develop a second LNG import terminal project at Port Qasim. The company will partner with PGPL in developing a new merchant FSRU project.

The joint venture will sell gas to private sector end-users without direct government involvement. The project will include a new jetty, berth and a second FSRU, benefiting from cost synergies with the existing facility. It offers the potential to turbo-charge import growth and rapidly scale up industrial use of LNG in the country.

Trafigura is the world’s largest independent trader of LNG and has invested significantly in recent years in cost-effective LNG infrastructure including the floating storage and regasification units that are key to opening up new markets. Trafigura also has an increasingly important footprint in Pakistan, importing coal and exporting refined petroleum products. Downstream investment Puma Energy, in which Trafigura has a 49.6 percent holding, recently acquired a 51 percent interest in Ardmore Gas, a leading independent oil marketing company, demonstrating the company’s strong faith in the potential of Pakistan’s energy sector.

Rosneft expands cooperation with Motor Oil Hellas

Rosneft expands cooperation with Motor Oil Hellas

Rosneft, Petrocas Energy (Rosneft's Group subsidiary) and Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries signed a three-lateral agreement about intentions in the crude and oil product supply. 

The agreement was signed within the framework of development of the partnership relations between Petrocas Energy and Motor Oil Hellas. In 2017 the supply and procurement of oil products amounted to over 2 mmt. Oil products were supplied to Motor Oil Hellas mainly using resources of Rosneft.

The document defines the intentions of parties for the arrangement of the mutual supplies of feedstock and oil products during the next 5 years and implies the potential possibility of an increase of these volumes to 7.5 mtpa. Refinery capacity is 13.5 mmt (crude, fuel oil, VGO, etc.), which accounts for 42% of total annual processing of crude oil in Greece.

The signed agreement brings the cooperation with Greek partners to a new level and sets a foundation for stable and long-term relations in the field of supply of crude and other feedstock for Greek refineries. The document will also enable Rosneft to independently sell oil products produced at the refineries of Motor Oil Hellas for trading using facilities of Petrocas Energy.

Petrocas Energy is a regional player focused on oil product logistics, trading and retail sales. The company owns and manages high-tech oil loading terminal in Poti (Georgia) which performs logistical operations with oil products and petrochemicals, the geography of trading operations is focused in the Caspian Sea and in the Black Sea. 

Implementation of the conditions of the signed agreement will increase the cost-effectiveness of Rosneft oil and oil products marketing, at the same time, allowing the partner to offer flexible supply framework.

Stamper Oil and Gas announces Alexander Polevoy to the board of directors

Stamper Oil and Gas announces Alexander Polevoy to the board of directors

Stamper Oil and Gas Corp has announced the appointment of Mr Alexander Polevoy to its board of directors. Mr Polevoy has held leading positions in international companies and is a seasoned financial accountant, oil & gas executive and an active investor in both private and public companies. Mr Polevoy is currently Board Member of Basin Logistics, located in New York and Tonga Petroleum Corp, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta.

Mr Polevoy worked for Renova Management AG of Zurich (2010-11) as a business development consultant on behalf of United Manganese of Kalahari. He was the representative a major Russian private investment group, Interros, as CFO, and Member of the Board of Directors of subsidiary Norilsk Nickel Mining Company, managing over $6 billion in debt and over $25 billion in assets. He created financial reporting framework for the group and the ability to produce audited financial statements, managed M&A transactions and was involved in communication with the banking and investment community.

Mr Polevoy was previously CFO, Member of the Board, and the Audit Committee for Integra Group GDR, a leading FSU oilfield service and oilfield equipment manufacturing company. He managed the IPO of the firm in 2007 and raised $750 million with over 14 acquisitions during a two-year period.

From 2005 to 2006, Mr Polevoy was CFO, Member of the Board, and the Audit Committee for NYSE listed company, Mechel Group, a Russian based industrial group, managing international assets in mining, metallurgical production and trade, energy, and logistics. He was responsible for the financial activity of one of the largest Russian mining and metallurgical production companies and for financial reporting of the group in accordance with requirements of the NYSE. Also during this period, he was a Director, Corporate Audit for TNK-BP Group, the 3rd largest oil producer in Russia, supporting and advising Audit Committee and executive management in sound risk management systems.

Mr Polevoy was formerly Head of Monitoring and Control Group, Audit Committee of the Board of Directors for TNK Group, Moscow, Russia. Mr Polevoy was involved in the restructuring of the company, developing strategic incentives to improve efficiency and value, while overseeing financial reporting and performance management systems specifically in the upstream sector.

In early 2000’s, Mr Polevoy was Director, Corporate Procedures and Development of Yukos Group, Moscow, Russia, involved with preparing and implementing a corporate strategy for improvement of financial structure over next 5 years and setting up JOA, PSA negotiations, and tax planning. During this time, Mr Polevoy held several positions at Yukos Group of companies including as Vice–President Finance, Deputy Chairman of the Board, and Member of the Board of Directors. He was involved in many aspects of the group providing leadership in a program of westernising its financial system, developing the financial control strategy through the company, restructuring the head office and regional financial departments (over 2500 employees in finance) to fit new functions.

From 1994 to 1999, Mr Polevoy was employed in the oil and gas, mining and manufacturing in Canada and the United States including as a Director, CFO and Accounting Manager for several firms including ZCL Composites Inc., Gold Tail Inc., Kazakhstan Goldfields Inc., and Geotex of Houston TX.

Mr Polevoy is a Member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, New York. He graduated from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a degree in Finance and Accounting and McGill University with a degree in Advanced Financial Accounting and Management Financial Accounting.

Mr Polevoy has also been appointed to the Corporation’s Audit Committee.
David Greenway, President of Stamper commented, “I am very pleased to welcome Alex to the Board of Stamper as we move forward to better focus the Company on its efforts with our international opportunities in Africa. Alex has experience in the international arena in oil and gas, in the development of financial strategies, and working with companies developing new policies and improving corporate performance.”

The Company reports that TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange”) has accepted the second tranche of Company’s non-brokered private placement announced on May 23, 2107. The second and final tranche consists of 962,500 units at $0.40 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share of the Company and one non-transferable share purchase warrant which is exercisable at $0.75 for a period of 36 months; for gross proceeds of $385,000. The funds will be used for general working capital and evaluation of new projects.
In addition, Stamper paid a Finders’ fee relating to the Private Placement. The finders were paid an aggregate cash sum of $30,800.00. The finders were granted Warrants to purchase an aggregate of 77,000 Warrants at a price of $0.40 per Finders Warrant. Finders Warrant consists of one non-transferable share purchase warrant (“Warrant”), exercisable into Common Shares at a price $0.75 per Common Share and having a term of 18 months.
All securities issued in the financing will be subject to a statutory hold period expiring four months and one day after closing of the financing.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Angus Energy Commences Production from Lidsey-X2

Angus Energy Commences Production from Lidsey-X2

Angus Energy Plc, a conventional oil and gas production and development company, has announced it has commenced production at Lidsey Oil Field from the well, Lidsey-X2.
Following the drilling and completion of the Lidsey-X2 horizontal production well, which was drilled on time and within budget, the Company is working through the production start-up and production has now been initiated. Initial start-up rates of production from the Great Oolite reservoir are coming in at forty barrels of 38.5 API of dry oil per day. The fluid column (oil) extends to 322m from the surface (bottom hole depth of 1,009.3m) with a measured static bottom hole pressure of 764 psi. The Great Oolite is the first of three reservoirs with potential viability in Lidsey-X2 as per the Company RNS of 6 November 2017.

Compared to pre-drill assessments outlined in the Competent Person’s Report (“CPR”) of the 7 November 2016 Admission Document, flow rates from the Great Oolite reservoir are below expectations, and work is continuing to clean up the well. The Company is investigating the new geological and borehole information to update its understanding of the reservoir. Also, the Company is currently examining evidence that suggests a partial flow reduction is the result of a hole in the production tubing, therefore not allowing the well to be fully drawn down. The Company is conducting further analysis, and if confirmed, the Company will undertake operations to repair the tubing which will allow maximum draw from the reservoir. This is the priority for the Company over the coming weeks.

In addition to any necessary repair, industry information and technical guidance on analogous wells in the region suggest initial flow rates can be improved. Angus Energy believes its initial flow rates from LidseyX2 have similar potential for increased yield. Therefore, the Company is conducting a thorough study to optimise and enhance production levels from the Great Oolite. 

Further to the Company RNS of 6 November 2017, Angus Energy will submit an FDP Addendum to the Oil and Gas Authority (“OGA”) to begin production appraisal of the Kimmeridge and Oxford layers at Lidsey.

The Lidsey-X1 well, first drilled in 1987, will now resume production from the Great Oolite reservoir in addition to production from Lidsey-X2. The Company expects to achieve the historic production levels of 15-20 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) before the well was shut in nearly two years ago in January 2016.

Given the encouraging geochemical analysis of Lidsey-X2’s Kimmeridge and Oxford Layers, disclosed in the Company RNS of 6 November 2017, the above-mentioned FDP Addendum will include a submission to analyse the production potential from the Kimmeridge layer and Lias source rock from Lidsey-X1. The Lidsey-X1 exploration well was previously drilled through all the aforementioned layers.

The Lias source rock, positioned beneath the Great Oolite, has a comparable composition to the interbedded limestones/shales found in the hybrid Kimmeridge reservoir at the Company’s Brockham Oil Field, located on the northern end of the Weald Basin. The deeper depth of the Lias source rock in the Lidsey-X1 indicates an increased maturity as compared to layers above the Great Oolite such as the component Kimmeridge and Oxford layers of the Lidsey-X2, as outlined in the Company RNS of 6 November 2017. 

Paul Vonk, Managing Director of Angus Energy, commented: “Production has now commenced from Lidsey-X2. This project was delivered on time and budget. Even with these initial flow rates, Lidsey-X2 provides commercial production and cash flow. We will continue to optimise production from the Great Oolite reservoir at Lidsey as we work to increase flow rates and we look forward to developing its additional reservoirs to enhance long-run value for our shareholders.”

Haskel Engineer to Unveil New Hydrogen Technology at 2018 Summit

Haskel Engineer to Unveil New Hydrogen Technology at 2018 Summit 

At the 2018 Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Energy Summit Pooya Mahmoudian, a Product Engineer with Haskel International will be a featured event speaker. 

During his presentation of "Design approaches to prevent H2 induced crack growth in pressure vessels and the related changes in the ASME PVC Sec VIII, Div 3,” Mahmoudian will unveil a new technology developed to address specific industry challenges. 

Haskel, a longstanding player in the hydrogen market, is highly invested in compression technology research, as well as research on the hydrogen refuelling process, arguably the most challenging aspect of fuel cell technology. The company's engineers, including Mahmoudian, developed a new innovative technology in conjunction with the U.S. Army as part of a Collaborative Technology and Research Agreement.  

Because it solves a major issue for many manufacturers, this project has the potential to dramatically impact costs for those developing and operating hydrogen refuelling stations.  
Under current regulations, hydrogen refuelling station manufacturers must run tests to ensure and certify that equipment and the corresponding refuelling process do not result in hydrogen embrittlement. Haskel engineers dedicated over six months of development to solving this challenge and were able to design a new pressure vessel to mitigate H2 embrittlement without costly exotic and hard to source metal alloys, which are preferred and often specified in this type of application. 

At the 2018 Summit, Mahmoudian will share details of the vessel design as well as explain the changes that the ASME, the U.S. regulatory body for the pressure vessel market, has made to its testing and audit protocols as a result of the new technology. By eliminating the need for repeated testing and required alloys for the metallurgical prevention method of H2 embrittlement, Haskel's new vessel design could greatly reduce manufacturers' costs across the U.S. – with the hope of seeing similar regulatory changes across Europe and Asia over the next year.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Bechtel to Deliver 27.6 MTPA Driftwood LNG Project for Tellurian

Bechtel to Deliver 27.6 MTPA Driftwood LNG Project for Tellurian

Bechtel, a global leader in engineering, procurement, and construction, has announced it has signed four lump-sum turnkey agreements with Driftwood LNG LLC, a Tellurian company, to deliver one of the world’s lowest-cost liquefaction construction projects near Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Construction of the Driftwood LNG project is expected to begin in 2018 with the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced in 2022, subject to Tellurian making a Final Investment Decision and a permit from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The four agreements cover four phases of the construction process, as production plants are progressively brought online. At full capacity, the facility will produce up to 27.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.

“Bechtel’s history is one of the groundbreaking projects at the forefront of the industry,” said Alasdair Cathcart, President Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals. “Our collaboration with Tellurian on the Driftwood LNG project will deliver a low-cost LNG facility that is more flexible to changing market conditions. Our record of completing 11 LNG trains in the past three years is unmatched in the industry, and we look forward to delivering Driftwood LNG by deploying our proven self-perform model with fully integrated engineering, procurement and construction activities throughout the project life-cycle.” 

Bechtel has delivered 42 LNG trains on 17 projects in 10 countries. The milestone includes the delivery of three LNG trains to customers in Australia and the United States in 2017 alone, adding some 13.5 mtpa of LNG to the global energy market. Today, production on Bechtel-built facilities accounts for 30% of global LNG capacity.

Ready for start-up of the Maria field

Ready for start-up of the Maria field

As the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate now gives consent for the start-up of the Maria field in the Norwegian Sea, this is for a development that will come on stream almost one year ahead of the original plan, at reduced costs and with somewhat increased oil reserves.

Production will start in December. This is about ten months before the original plan, which called for start-up in the fourth quarter of 2018. A well-executed project and quick, efficient drilling operations have contributed to this.

The development has been cheaper than anticipated. The investment costs are just over NOK 12 billion, whereas the estimate in the Plan for Development and Operations (PDO) was NOK 15.7 billion.

"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is very satisfied with the development of the Maria project," says Kalmar Ildstad, Assistant Director for Development and Operations in the Norwegian Sea

"With a total of four host facilities, the project is also a good example of the value creation generated from good collaboration with the licensees in surrounding infrastructure."
The consent to start up the oil field is issued to the licensees in production licences 475 BS and 475 CS.

Maria is operated by Wintershall. The field is located about 240 kilometres northwest of Trondheim, about 20 kilometres east of the Kristin field and approx. 45 kilometres southwest of the Heidrun field.

Maria has been developed with two seabed templates with four slots each, where according to current plans, four oil production wells and two water injection wells will be drilled.

Good collaboration on utilisation of various host facilities has made the Maria development possible in such a short amount of time. The wellstream from Maria will be transported via pipeline on the seabed to Kristin for processing and metering.

The stabilised oil will then be routed to the Åsgard C - FSU for storage and offloading, whereas the rich gas will be routed through the Åsgard Transport System (ÅTS) to Kårstø, where NGL and condensate will be extracted.

Gas for gas lift will arrive at Maria from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans D template and pressure support for Maria will be obtained from injection of sulphate-reduced water from Heidrun TLP

Wintershall estimates that the anticipated recoverable reserves in Maria total 28.9 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil, 1.32 million tonnes of NGL and 2.31 billion Sm3 of gas. Maria is expected to produce for 22 years.

ADES Forms Joint Venture with Vantage Drilling International to Provide Deepwater Drilling Services in Egypt

ADES Forms Joint Venture with Vantage Drilling International to Provide Deepwater Drilling Services in Egypt

ADES International Holding Ltd, the London-listed company providing offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling and production services in the Middle East and Africa through its subsidiaries, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary ADES S.A.E has entered into a long-term joint venture agreement with a subsidiary of Vantage Drilling International. 

The new JV company will leverage Vantage's world-class offshore deepwater drilling experience and ADES International's leadership position within the Egyptian offshore drilling market to provide deepwater drilling services in Egypt's Mediterranean basin.  

The agreement will enable ADES to generate additional revenue without incurring the significant capital expenditure associated with deepwater drilling. As part of the JV, Vantage will gain access to the attractive Mediterranean basin, optimise access to local workforces and service providers and increase the marketability of its ultra-deepwater fleet.  

The JV will operate Vantage's deepwater drilling units in Egyptian waters on a bareboat charter agreement basis, and discussions are underway with regional operators as the JV aims to capture opportunities amid significant discoveries and prospective drilling programmes in Egypt's Mediterranean basin. The JV will operate on a profit-sharing basis, and ADES will have exclusive marketing rights within Egypt.  

Commenting on the JV, Dr Mohamed Farouk, Chief Executive Officer of ADES International Holding, said: "We are very excited to be partnering with such a reputable operator as Vantage and believe the JV will benefit both parties. 

“This agreement exemplifies our asset-light model and is a natural development of ADES' strategy that targets optimised cost structures across operating environments. We have a proven track record of offering exceptional value for money within our primary focus in shallow, non-harsh environments. While this remains our core strategy, our long-term JV with Vantage will extend our reach into deepwater drilling while retaining our low-cost model.”

Commenting on the JV, Mr Ihab Toma, Chief Executive Officer of Vantage Drilling International stated:  “In ADES we have found a professional, well experienced Egyptian partner that will allow the JV to leverage each team's capabilities, thereby providing a unique service in Egypt.”

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Eni signs an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement for Block 52, Offshore Oman

Eni signs an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement for Block 52, Offshore Oman

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP), a subsidiary of state company Oman Oil Company SAOC (OOC), and Eni has entered into an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for Block 52, located offshore Oman.

The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Oil and Gas of Oman, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi, OOC CEO, Isam Al Zadjali, Eni’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, and Qatar Petroleum’s President and CEO, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi. 

Block 52 is an underexplored area with hydrocarbons potential located offshore in the southern region of Oman. Block 52 has an area of approximately 90,000 Km2, with water depths ranging from 10 to over 3,000 meters. Under the EPSA, Eni is the Operator of the block, through its subsidiary Eni Oman B.V., with an 85% stake, while its partner OOCEP holds the remaining 15% stake.

During the same event, held in Muscat, Eni and Qatar Petroleum signed an agreement for the assignment of 30% interest in Block 52 to Qatar Petroleum. Following the conclusion of such agreement and subject to the consent of the competent authorities of the Sultanate of Oman, the Contractor under the EPSA will consist of affiliates of Eni with a 55% stake, Qatar Petroleum with 30% and OOCEP with 15%.

The signing of the Block 52 EPSA represents an important milestone in Eni’s strategy to reinforce its presence in the Middle East region. We wish to establish with the Sultanate of Oman, which is a historical Oil & Gas producer in the region, a long-lasting relationship in the best tradition of Eni. It is also remarkable that the same day, we are welcoming Qatar Petroleum as a partner in Block 52, to join our efforts with such a strong partner that is currently leading the LNG business worldwide», commented Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi.
Block 52 was awarded to Eni and OOCEP following an international bid round process launched in October 2016.

Commencement of First Gas Production

Commencement of First Gas Production

Pantheon Resources plc (“Pantheon” or “the Company”), the AIM-quoted oil and gas exploration company with a working interest in several conventional projects in Tyler and Polk Counties, onshore East Texas, is pleased to provide the following update. 

The gas processing facility operated by Kinder Morgan in Polk County was successfully commissioned yesterday, 14th November 2017, with the VOBM#1, VOBM#2H and VOBM#3 (the Polk County wells) all having been tied-in to the facility. First gas sales have already commenced.

The facility will now be optimised, and production will be ramped up progressively over the next few weeks in line with standard commissioning practice and best practice reservoir management. A further update will be provided over the next 30-40 days, once operations have bedded in and production volumes have been optimised. 

The Company expects to receive first production revenues in late December 2017/early January 2018.

VOBM#4, Tyler County Operations in Tyler County on the VOBM#4 sidetrack continue on schedule. Results will be reported at the conclusion of testing.

Jay Cheatham, CEO, said: “I am extremely pleased that the Polk County gas plant has started production. This is a significant moment in our Company’s development as we move from an exploration company to an exploration and production company. It is the first in a series of anticipated hook-ups to production infrastructure as we continue to drill out and exploit our acreage position. The recent strengthening of both oil and natural gas prices come at a beneficial time for all shareholders.”

First digital flagship projects from ABB target maintenance and data analysis

First digital flagship projects from ABB target maintenance and data analysis

With an investment of $24 million, the first wave from some 20 digital pilot projects has emerged from ABB, targeting maintenance cost reduction and data insights across oil, gas and chemicals facilities.

ABB is investing in a series of pilot projects aimed at bringing new digital products, services and solutions to industry. All projects are built using the ABB Ability platform, which, by using digitally enabled industry solutions, collects, stores, searches, finds, views and analyses data. The data is then presented as useful information in different contexts and timeframes. 

The pilot projects extend from agile manufacturing, cloud-based collaboration and energy grid of the future to cyber asset management digitally enabled process performance services and condition-based maintenance. Three projects specifically targeting the oil, gas and chemicals sectors, address the untapped potential of condition-based maintenance, servicing of rotating equipment and fine-tuning process performance of installed control systems.
The first project targets maintenance, one of the most significant and untapped areas of cost savings in oil, gas and chemical facilities. With maintenance budgets accounting for some two-thirds of annual net profit, it is the largest single controllable expenditure. One leading oil operator estimates that about 63% of maintenance labour results in no action. This is because maintenance that is not needed is sometimes performed on perfectly functional equipment, thereby introducing unnecessary cost and risk.

The project provides customers with the services, tools and information needed to capture, trust and act upon data and online information generated by today's installed condition monitoring systems. It ensures electrical equipment maintenance is only performed when necessary and not on an arbitrary schedule, eliminating needless interruption to production and reducing expenditures. 

“Our approach provides the vital piece of the puzzle in the transition from a scheduled maintenance approach to one that’s predictive – regardless of what kind of condition monitoring system is in place,” says ABB’s Dan Overly, Head of Product management for ABB’s oil gas and chemicals business. “We are helping customers get value from data. Early testing shows that this project can help reduce customer maintenance costs by as much as 30%.”

A second project, targeting rotating equipment, provides a suite of analytical services and applications that give access to good quality data, identifies failure patterns of rotating equipment and predicts their potential failures. Also, it benchmarks the customer fleet for improved budget allocation and allows ABB to build adjacent service offerings based on the data collected. 

This offering addresses the demands of chemical plant managers who are asking for a better understanding of how their fleet of rotating equipment performs, predict failures before they occur, and eliminate unnecessary maintenance to reduce operating cost.
The third project focuses on digitally enabled process performance services. It aims to improve operation and production quality by collecting data from customers’ existing assets, identifying areas where process improvement is needed, suggesting approaches to address challenges and deficits, and then implementing the services necessary to strengthen performance. 

With lower oil prices, upstream operators are increasingly focusing on improving production. With today’s prices, process performance improvement can significantly improve the bottom line of the oil companies. Typically, 3-5% increased production is achievable, translating into about $35 million extra earnings annually for a platform producing 50,000 barrels a day at $50 per barrel.

One outcome of this project is the ABB Ability TM Process Performance Dashboard. Following some 15 years of identifying poor process system performance in upstream oil and gas facilities, ABB has developed six key performance indicators (KPIs) for the process performance of a plant. These include three symptoms and three results of bad process behaviour.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Amarinth delivers API 610 VS4 pumps to Metito for ADCO Al Dabb’iya Facilities

Amarinth delivers API 610 VS4 pumps to Metito for ADCO Al Dabb’iya Facilities

Amarinth, a leading company, specialising in the design, application and manufacture of centrifugal pumps, has successfully delivered an order of API 610 VS4 pumps to Metito for installation in a wastewater treatment plant at the ADCO Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project, Abu Dhabi.

Amarinth secured its first order of pumps from Metito, a leading provider of intelligent water management solutions, earlier this year. The API 610 VS4 vertical pumps will be installed in an effluent treatment package at the ADCO Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project, which is located 40 kilometres south-west of Abu Dhabi.

Like the many other pumps that Amarinth has supplied to ADCO process application projects, this wastewater treatment package required high specification pumps. The API 610 VS4 deoiler pumps must operate reliably at low NPSH for the plant to successfully separate the oil from the wastewater. The pumps were manufactured in super duplex stainless steel to withstand the corrosive fluid. Amarinth drew on its extensive knowledge of ADCO specifications and requirements to deliver a cost-effective design in under 20 weeks for this wastewater application.

Oliver Brigginshaw, Managing Director of Amarinth, commented: “We have provided pumping solutions to many ADCO projects for various EPCs and package providers. We are delighted to have successfully fulfilled this first order from Metito, a leader in water management solutions, which further extends and strengthens our offering across both process applications and water treatment into the oil and gas industry.”

Local Oil & Gas company sets its sights on new markets in 40th year

Local Oil & Gas company sets its sights on new markets in 40th year

John Bell Pipeline Equipment Company Limited, a market leader in the supply of offshore and onshore pipeline equipment, is celebrating 40 years of success, as it looks to the future with ambitious plans for new sector growth, expanded work sites and an increase in workforce. 

Part of the international Bianco Group, John Bell Pipeline operates from sites in Inverurie and Grangemouth and has gone from strength to strength. The local Aberdeenshire company is proud to be established as a market leader and key service provider to the North Sea and Aberdeen, as well as making global footprints in countries including Algeria, Azerbaijan and the Middle East with a turnover of over £12m. 

In the midst of “the hardest industry recession ever” due to a prolonged low oil price, the company has won more than £6m of contracts since the start of the year. These cover John Bell Pipeline’s full range of core products including valves, pipe and associated products in addition to Core6, its premium GRP product, sold as components or fully designed and fabricated composite access solutions.

John Bell Pipeline is also moving into new and emerging sectors as it celebrates its ruby year, with a recent UK defence contract worth over £3m.

The company has ambitions to expand further business activities with plans to expand its 100,000-square foot site in Inverurie and bolster the expert team to meet the ever-increasing demands and requirements of its customers across the globe. 

Mark Anderson, sales manager at John Bell Pipeline commented: “Although there has been a change in company ownership three times during its existence, the ethics and values of the company have remained intact - being flexible to meet individual customer needs and speed of response – supplying the correct products, when the customer needs them. 
“This ethos has never changed and has laid the foundations for the company and continues to be the cornerstone of the company’s success and longevity.”

To mark the special occasion JBP hosted a party at their site in Inverurie for employees, families, customers and the local suppliers that they have used over the 40 years. The team was delighted to also welcome company founder, John Bell to the occasion. As part of the celebrations, a charity collection and raffle was also held for nominated charities Alzheimer's Scotland, Children's Hospice Association Scotland and Diabetes Research, with guests raising a fantastic £2400 to be shared between the charities. 

Looking to the future, Rory Machray, General Manager, commented: “We are delighted to mark the anniversary and at the same time reward employees for all their hard work over the years. 

“It was great to see faces from throughout our history at the special event, including the local customers and suppliers that we have engaged with over the years. The anniversary has come at an important point for us all, following what has been a very challenging period. We now look ahead to the next forty years with future developments and growth plans already set.”

Churchill Drilling Tools reports record demand for its products in the Middle East

Churchill Drilling Tools reports record demand for its products in the Middle East

Churchill Drilling Tools, a global oilfield service company specialising in drilling innovation, has revealed a record demand for its technologies and services in the Middle East as it approaches its second anniversary in the region. 

The company has seen a significant increase in orders across its product range in the Middle East.  Churchill reports unprecedented orders in the region in particular for its flagship product, the award-winning DAV MX™ CircSub, while demand continues to grow for its other tools including the Drift Catcher pipe drift verification tool and the HyPR™ HoleSaver™, the world’s first hydraulic pipe recovery system.

Churchill’s General Manager in the Middle East, Nicholas Kjaer, said: “I am delighted the Middle East drilling engineer and operator sectors – our target customers - have welcomed our technologies and services in the relatively short time since we set up our offices in Dubai and our workshop in Abu Dhabi.

“Our rapid growth can be attributed to some factors, not least the talent and commitment of the experienced team that we have assembled in the Middle East who have become trusted partners to many operators in the region.  The quality of our tools, which are enabling operators to drill faster, more efficiently and at low-risk, are inspiring confidence amongst the drilling community as word spreads and drilling engineers recognise their benefits.”

Nicholas added that external factors have also contributed to the company’s success: “An increase in the oil price has created greater confidence and stability in the Middle East, as operators begin once again to focus more on value and less on the lowest price when considering the most effective tools to deploy.  Additionally, we are noticing at Churchill that greater stability is breeding greater trust in new technologies.”

Nicholas Kjaer will be available on the Churchill Drilling Tools stand (8557) at ADIPEC 2017, which is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 13-16 November. 

Churchill’s range of industry-leading dart activated technologies has redefined and improved many of the oil and gas industry’s existing downhole processes, from exploration through to abandonment. Quick and easy to deploy, the company’s suite of pump-in darts has delivered thousands of hours of savings to operators worldwide.

Nicholas added: “Our growth in the Middle East has been matched by significant investment in infrastructure, talent and servicing capabilities. It is an extremely exciting market for us, and we are confident the strength of our customer proposition and our commercial strategy will ensure continued growth in the region.”

Monday, 13 November 2017

Global Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Leaders Discuss Evolving Energy Landscape Amid Shifting Dynamics of Supply and Demand at Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable

Global Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Leaders Discuss Evolving Energy Landscape Amid Shifting Dynamics of Supply and Demand at Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable

Twenty-six of the world’s leading oil and gas industry leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi recently to discuss the evolving energy landscape amid shifting dynamics of supply and demand, at the second Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable.

The senior executives were invited to the roundtable, held at ADNOC’s Corporate headquarters in the UAE capital, by ADNOC. 

The roundtable focused on changes in the structure of the energy market, particularly oil and the impact of electrification on the oil-auto system – and the need to find a common analytical approach to gauge the extent of that impact on oil demand.

H.E. Dr Al Jaber said: “This was an important and unique opportunity for oil and gas industry leaders to share insights and perspectives on the evolving energy landscape and how it is influencing supply and demand for our products. The roundtable enabled us to engage in open discussion and reflect on the technological and economic factors shaping the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.” 

The roundtable was moderated by Dr Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman IHS Markit, Pulitzer-Prize winning author and energy economist. 

“The CEO Roundtable was an excellent opportunity to consider the near, medium and long-term outlooks for the energy industry and the world in which it operates,” commented Dr Yergin. “The high-level participation by the world’s leading oil, gas and petrochemical chief executives is a demonstration of the convening power of the leadership of the UAE, Abu Dhabi and ADNOC. A rich and wide-ranging discussion deepened the understanding of the factors shaping the global energy landscape and how best to navigate them.” 

Sandvik strengthens presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa

Sandvik strengthens presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa 

Sandvik, a developer and producer of advanced stainless steels, special alloys, titanium and other high-performance materials, has seen double-digit growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region over the past three years. 

Earlier this year, the company established its regional oil and gas headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to increase delivery of local services and products for customers. Also, there have been increased activities in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and Nigeria where the company secured a significant project to supply oil and gas control and chemical injection lines. 

The order saw Sandvik providing approximately 100,000 feet of control and chemical injection lines (flatpacks) for a deepwater project offshore Nigeria via its recently opened facility in Brazil.

The lines were supplied using Alloy 825, an industry standard material with high mechanical strength and corrosion-resistant properties that are cost-efficient. The lines can normally take up to 16 weeks to be delivered, but having materials in stock meant Sandvik was able to cut the delivery time to five weeks from placement of the order.

Phil Cherrie, Regional Sales and Marketing Director, Oil & Gas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Sandvik, said: “Africa is one of the focus markets for our geographical expansion this year. While we have been active in EMEA for over 30 years, we are now seeing increasing activities and huge potential for the oil and gas industry in this part of the world. We see growth opportunities to expand further supply of our oil and gas product portfolio, particularly our range of control and chemical injection lines, which are designed for the challenging conditions of the African deepwater subsea environment.”

He added: “The project win in Nigeria showcases our commitment to the market, and we will continue to work together with our customers to provide end-to-end capabilities including in-house encapsulation, flushing, filling, pressure testing as well as services that enable companies to go further with our high-performance materials.” 

Later this month, Sandvik will be exhibiting at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 2017, where it will showcase its wide range of tube products. These include hydraulic and instrumentation tubing, heat exchanger and high-temperature tubing, control lines, umbilicals and OCTG tubing. 

“As the world’s economy gradually recovers from uncertain oil prices, industry players are now looking for solutions that would enable them to identify and fulfil new opportunities. At Sandvik, we are seeing more customers in various industries exploring cost-effective ways to upgrade existing systems. We look forward to showcasing our high-performance tubular materials to our industry peers at ADIPEC 2017,” said James Doughty, Regional Sales Director, Tube Core & Standard, MENA, Sandvik.

Sandvik’s hydraulic and instrumentation tubes are optimised for hardness allowing for easy, reliable bending and consistent quality. Since 1980, over 100 million meters of H&I seamless stainless tubing have been supplied to customers worldwide. 

The company’s oil and gas offerings include control lines that are highly resistant to pressure, high temperature and adverse conditions; umbilical tubes with high corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties to cope with extremely adverse conditions; and downhole casing and production tubing (OCTG) that can cope with aggressive environments found in sour wells. 

Having produced steel products for over 150 years, Sandvik possesses the expertise to contribute to customers’ productivity, reliability, and cost efficiency while often reducing environmental impact. The company has over 50 years of advanced technical expertise and geographical experience in the oil and gas industry, having established itself as a committed supplier of advanced materials technology combined with a focus on providing customer-centric additional services. This includes offering swift and fuss-free solutions facilitated through an extensive inventory of stock, quick processing time, customisation for the customers’ reels and direct delivery to the site.

Consultation on funding a UK National Data Repository through the OGA Levy

Consultation on funding a UK National Data Repository through the OGA Levy

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is seeking views from the UK oil and gas industry on the establishment of a United Kingdom National Data Repository (NDR), which would be funded through the OGA levy payable by all offshore petroleum licensees.

A four-week consultation opened to gather feedback and insights from industry on the creation of an NDR required to improve access to UK petroleum related information, which will help to promote investment and deliver the principal objective of maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum (MER UK).

Offshore petroleum licensees have obligations to report licence-related information to the OGA, which many licensees discharge primarily through a digital data repository operated by Common Data Access Limited (CDA) which is a subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK, which is a trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

However, access to the CDA repository and full benefits of the service, including the collaborative functionality to share information within licence groups, is limited to fee-paying subscribers only.

The OGA regards the establishment of a UK NDR as an important commitment in fulfilling a key recommendation of the Wood Maximising Recovery Review, in ensuring ready access to timely and transparent data to facilitate MER UK. An NDR will preserve, regulate and provide greater access to the country’s collection of high-quality petroleum-related information.

Nic Granger, Director of Corporate, OGA said: “The prize from the UKCS is still significant with 10 to 20 billion barrels of reserves remaining. Unlocking this requires access to good quality data and the creation of a UK NDR would be a vital step in ensuring data is easily available to stimulate investment and exploration to deliver maximum economic recovery from the UK.”

The OGA is proposing to establish a two-year contract with CDA to offer services, including access to qualifying elements of the current data, to establish an NDR that will be available to all levy payers. If taken forward, this service would be funded through an increase in the levy but would include a removal of the corresponding CDA membership fees.
It is expected that the levy-funded NDR service would commence in January 2019. The consultation period closed on 8 December 2017.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Saudi Aramco signs agreements for oil and gas megaprojects worth nearly $4.5 billion

Saudi Aramco signs agreements for oil and gas megaprojects worth nearly $4.5 billion

Saudi Aramco Has recently signed agreements with several oil and gas service contractors for oil and gas megaprojects designed to enhance the company’s energy sustainability, diversify the economy, expand gas production, and localise domestic content. The agreements are valued at nearly $4.5 billion in total.

Eight agreements were signed, including three agreements with Madrid-based Técnicas Reunidas under the Gas Compression Program in the Southern Area. The project will improve and sustain gas production from Haradh and Hawiyah fields for the next 20 years by bringing an additional 1 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd). The Hawiyah Gas Plant (HGP) Expansion Project will provide additional gas processing facilities to process raw sweet gas, to efficiently meet the Kingdom's energy demand. The contract will be awarded to the Italian firm SNAMPROGETTI (Saipem). 

Other agreements signed, cover the Free Flow Pipeline Contract for Haradh and Hawiyah (with China Petroleum Pipelines Company); engineering and project management services for the Zuluf Field Development Program (with Jacobs Engineering Inc.). 

Included in this is the Pipeline and Trunkline Project of Safaniyah Field (with Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC); and the Slipover Platforms and Electrical Distribution Platform Project in Safaniyah Field (with McDermott Middle East).
Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said: “These agreements we signed are part of our natural gas expansion, as we add about 1 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd). This reflects our commitment to introducing new supplies of clean-burning natural gas. These new supplies will help reduce domestic reliance on liquid fuels for power generation, enable increased liquids exports, provide feedstock to petrochemical industries, and reduce carbon emissions.”

Nasser added: “Investments like this help secure Saudi Aramco’s preeminent position as a reliable supplier of energy domestically and to the world. They also reflect our concerted effort, as stated in Saudi Vision 2030, to diversify our economy, promote local manufacturing, support a sustainable environment, and strengthen our business and investment climate with the domestic private sector through fruitful international partnerships.”

Morocco country exit initiated 10th November 2017

Morocco country exit initiated 10th November 2017

Gulfsands Petroleum plc, the oil and gas company with current activities in Syria and Colombia, has announced its decision to no longer pursue the Moulay Bouchta Petroleum Agreement in Morocco and consequently to immediately initiate the winding down of the activities of the Group in Morocco. In line with the Company’s stated strategy, this will enable Gulfsands to focus its management and capital resources in the Levant region.
As previously reported on 21st June 2017, the Moulay Bouchta contract expired in June 2017 after Gulfsands had received an extension of the duration of the Initial Phase of the Exploration Period of Moulay Bouchta (“Initial Phase”), from Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (“ONHYM”), from two years to three years, together with a revised work programme.

At that time, Gulfsands noted that ONHYM had indicated a willingness to extend the Initial Phase further, from three years to four years through to June 2018. The Group’s decision to pursue this extension, and indeed its ongoing participation in Morocco, was conditional upon it finding an appropriate partner to help take the project forward, as Morocco is non-core to the Group’s business strategy. The Group has been unable to find a partner and so has now informed ONHYM that it does not wish to continue further with discussions to extend the Moulay Bouchta contract.

As a result of this decision, we understand that ONHYM intends to call in $1.75 million of restricted cash held as performance guarantees under the Moulay Bouchta contract. Further possible penalties could apply and have been provided for in the Group’s subsidiary, Gulfsands Petroleum Morocco Limited.

Now that the Group no longer has any operating assets in Morocco, it intends to proceed with winding down its Moroccan operations and exiting the country.

In respect of the Rharb and Fes Petroleum Agreements which expired in 2015, the Group maintains that $6 million of restricted cash held as performance guarantees under these Agreements was inappropriately taken and retained by ONHYM and should be returned to the Group. These funds were to be used by the Group, in part, to fund any remaining work that the Group’s subsidiaries had outstanding in-country, including plug and abandonment and other restoration obligations. The Company continues to pursue this matter with ONHYM.

All Moroccan contracts and activities were held within dedicated subsidiaries, with no parental guarantees in place.

John Bell, Managing Director, said: “Our stated strategy continues to be to focus capital and management resources on the Levant region and to manage down the non-core parts of our business. Today’s important and necessary decision is another key step towards achieving that goal.”

Arup and Kiwa Gastec appointed to explore potential for using hydrogen to heat UK homes

Arup and Kiwa Gastec appointed to explore potential for using hydrogen to heat UK homes

Arup is leading a UK government project examining the feasibility of phasing out the use of natural gas for domestic use by converting homes to hydrogen fuel.
The £25 million Hydrogen for Heat Programme, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will look at the feasibility of converting a small village or estate to replace natural gas with hydrogen for cooking and heating. The Arup-led consortium, including hydrogen specialists Kiwa Gastec, will explore the practicalities of using the zero-carbon gas in homes and will facilitate the design and manufacture of new appliances such as fires, cookers and boilers, for both domestic and commercial use.  

Last year natural gas met nearly two-thirds of total UK domestic demand for energy. Hydrogen fuel produces only water and heat when burnt so a move away from natural gas in homes would have a significant impact on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint. The use of other fuels in the gas network is not new; up until the 1970s ‘Town Gas’, made from coal contained up to 50% hydrogen. Over 44 million gas appliances were successfully moved from using ‘Town Gas’ to natural gas following the discovery of oil and gas in the North Sea. This programme will examine how a similar conversion could be achieved in moving to hydrogen gas.

The project, expected to run until March 2021, will explore public attitudes to changing to hydrogen.  Ultimately the project will have laid all the groundwork for the demonstration of a pilot project in a village or small town.

Claire Perry, Climate Change Minister, said that: “Our Clean Growth Strategy sets out how we intend to reduce carbon emissions from homes across the country. This £25 million Hydrogen for Heat Programme will provide important evidence on how we might convert heating and cooking systems to hydrogen, explore the feasibility of the transition from natural gas and, crucially, the opinions of the people who could be using this zero-carbon fuel.”

Mark Neller, Associate Director at Arup added: “The UK has an opportunity to lead the way in using hydrogen as an important domestic fuel, making a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. This project will help establish the feasibility of converting towns and cities to hydrogen in a cost-effective way, making use of the current natural gas network.”
Jon Saltmarsh, Head of Technical Energy Analysis said: “This is an important project to help advance hydrogen use in the UK and worldwide. The project will explore the feasibility of the transition and, crucially, the opinions of the people who will be using this zero-carbon fuel. The programme will add to a growing understanding of the potential of hydrogen for a range of purposes.”

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Alaska and China Sign Historic Joint Development Agreement

Alaska and China Sign Historic Joint Development Agreement

Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, the State of Alaska, Sinopec, CIC Capital Corporation, and Bank of China, has announced a joint development agreement to advance Alaska LNG, Alaska’s strategic gas infrastructure project.

The agreement was signed in the presence of United States President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping and expresses the common interests in the preparatory work of Alaska LNG.

Alaska LNG is designed as a 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) integrated LNG system comprised of a three-train liquefaction plant in Southcentral Alaska at Nikiski; an approximately 800 mile, 1.1 meter diameter gas pipeline; a gas treatment plant on the North Slope of Alaska; and various interconnecting facilities to connect the Prudhoe Bay gas complex to the gas treatment plant.

Under the agreement, the parties have agreed to work cooperatively on LNG marketing, financing, investment model and China content in Alaska LNG, and get a periodic result by 2018.

“Today’s agreement brings the potential customer, lender, equity investor, and developer together with a common objective of crafting mutually beneficial agreements leading to increased LNG trade between Alaska and China,” said Keith Meyer, president, AGDC.
“Sinopec is interested in the possibility of LNG purchase on a stable basis from Alaska LNG,” said Sinopec.

“This is an agreement that will provide Alaska with an economic boom comparable to the development of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the 1970s,” said Governor Bill Walker, State of Alaska.

“CIC Capital is an experienced financial investor in the energy and infrastructure sectors and has long been interested in investing in American LNG infrastructure. CIC Capital is pleased to work with fellow industry and financial partners on this project,” said CIC Capital.
“As the most internationalised bank in China, Bank of China is willing to facilitate the China-U.S. energy cooperation and provide financial solutions for this transaction by taking advantage of its vast experiences and expertise in international mega-project financing,” said Bank of China.